OAA12 - Funding and sustainability: The Wellcome Trust perspective


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Chris Bird, Senior Solicitor, Wellcome Trust

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  • These are the key features of eLife, and what makes this project unique within research communication
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  • OAA12 - Funding and sustainability: The Wellcome Trust perspective

    1. 1. Funding and sustainability: theWellcome Trust perspective Chris Bird Wellcome Trust c.bird@wellcome.ac.uk @chrisbird69
    2. 2. The Wellcome Trust• a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health• we support the brightest minds in biomedical sciences and medical humanities in the UK and overseas• a long-term commitment to research and capacity building in Africa – aim to enable research targeted to local health needs• a passionate commitment to maximising access to research outputs (including research papers and data)
    3. 3. The Trust’s open access policy“All research papers – funded in whole or in part by theWellcome Trust – must be made freely accessible fromthe PubMed Central and UKPMC repositories as soon aspossible, and in any event within six months of thejournal publisher’s official date of final publication”
    4. 4. Building sustainability: Funding• Publication costs are part of the research costs• Provide funding to institutions to cover OA funding• WT spend on OA publishing is around £4m a year• If 100% of WT research was published via “gold”, it would represent approx. 1.5% of our annual research spend• 1.5% of £650m = £9.75m
    5. 5. Building sustainability: supportingopen access infrastructure• providing dedicated funding to institutions to meet OA costs• building the Europe PubMed Central resource• working with publishers to ensure their processes enable and support compliance• raising awareness of the benefits of OA in the research community• announcing a new top-tier, open access e-journal with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Max Planck Society
    6. 6. “Ground-breaking science, selected by experts, published without delay, open for greater influence” http://www.elifesciences.org/• a collaboration between world-class funders and the research community to improve research communication• an editorial process that reduces revision cycles and accelerates the publication of new findings• an open-access journal for highly influential work, from basic to translational, applied, and clinical research• a showcase for innovation in the presentation and assessment of research• A platform to maximize the reach and influence of new research and to advance the careers of researchers Supported by
    7. 7. Strengthening our policy• compliance rate around 55% - still disappointingly low• to address this, we have decided to: – introduce specific sanctions to increase researcher compliance – ensure where we pay an open access fee, license terms ensure full re-use (including commercial uses)• political support is growing − UK government commitment – Finch group, new RCUK policy − internationally – encouraging developments in Europe and the US http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/09/frustrated-b (accessed 15 May 2012)
    8. 8. Compliance with Wellcome mandate?Significant increase from 2006 – but still work to do… Compliance – around 55%-60%
    9. 9. New policy: sanctions for non-compliance1. In End of Grant Report all papers listed must be OA. If not the final payment on the grant (typically 10%) will be withheld2. Non-compliant publications will be discounted as part of a researcher’s track record in any renewal of an existing grant or new grant application3. Trust-funded researchers will need to ensure that all publications associated with their Wellcome-funded research are OA before any funding renewals or new grant awards will be activatedSanctions aimed at changing behaviour
    10. 10. Open access – policy requires CC-BYOA policy now specifies that research, for which an OA fee is paid, must be licenced using CC- BYWill introduce this requirement from April 2013• Working with RCUK on this requirement• Early indicators are that publishers will offer this licence option
    11. 11. CC-BY: why?CC-BY now the de facto OA licenceWe believe that the full research and economic benefitof published content will only be realised when there areno restrictions on access to, and reuse of, thisinformation
    12. 12. Wellcome Trust funding in Africa• Major Overseas Programmes in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa• Capacity building initiatives: – African Institutions initiative - £30m to support 7 pan-African consortia – WT and DFID Health Research Capacity Strengthening initiative in Kenya and Malawi• Other major research funding − Joint Global Health Trials initiative (with DFID and MRC) − H3 Africa (with NIH) − Malaria Capacity Development Consortium www.wellcome.ac.uk/aii − Major longitudinal, cohort studies
    13. 13. Research and collaboration in Africa• Overall volume of research activity remains small – investment as %GDP very low, even in more resource-rich countries• Huge variation in research output – South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria dominate in terms of numbers (but others e.g. Malawi relatively strong in terms of output quality)• Collaborative networks reflect historical legacies (e.g. anglophone countries good links to US and UK), but not clear how great a priority this is for the G7 partners in current economic climate.
    14. 14. Where we are…• research could make a major contribution to addressing health and development challenges facing African nations• some areas of strength – e.g. strong biomedical, public and clinical research• but almost all research funded internationally, often with lack of collaboration in-country: – lack of national and local (researcher) ownership – risk of distorted national research agenda – research evidence not used to inform health policy• we need… − high quality training opportunities in research − excellent research environments − competitive health research funding opportunities within African countries at a national level − partnerships between development and research funders
    15. 15. OA and Africa – some perspectives 1• Gold OA is vital to ensure researchers can immediately access and use published research findings, wherever they are based in the world• but we must ensure that researchers in resource-poor settings are not restricted in their ability to publish their work• publication has a cost - we believe strongly that funders must recognise and resource these costs as integral part of funding research• in considering possible models to enable African researchers to realise the benefits of gold OA, we must recognise the context and constraints, for example: – the lack of institutional infrastructure, support and awareness – current publication practices (e.g. much research never published)
    16. 16. OA and Africa – some perspectives 2Focus on what we as a funder can control / help with:1. Access to funding2. Capacity to administer funding3. Policy flexibility (the “quality issue”)